Shaken, Not Stirred: The Re-combinatorial Capacity of High-Tech Regions
This paper examines the re-combinatorial capacity (RCC) of regional high-tech economies. Empirically the paper studies the emergence and development of new firms derived in various forms from a downsizing lead pharmaceutical firm (Pharmacia). A model is developed conceptualizing RCC of regions by the levels of business creation obtained at different levels of asset complexity for given levels of decomposition of available resources. RCC of Pharmacia's home region (Stockholm-Uppsala) is characterized by mapping all 75 new firms derived from Pharmacia onto the RCC space, revealing low RCC particularly for resources released from Pharmacia in highly decomposed form. Recombinations whereby managers from Pharmacia and other related incumbents become founders of new bio drug discovery firms (DDFs) come out as particularly scarce when benchmarked against the simultaneous emergence of a DDF sector in the otherwise comparable Copenhagen region. Venture capital is argued to be a key mechanism in RCC affecting high-tech entrepreneurship. We test and confirm that compared to their Copenhagen counterpart, DDFs in the Stockholm-Uppsala region received much less early stage venture financing which therefore provided notable disincentives for re-combinatorial manager-to-founder transitions.
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